Chapter 835: The Seven-Kill Tablet
Translator: Larbre Studio Editor: Larbre Studio
Qin Shuanglian rushed into the room. She saw a man who was as pale as a piece of paper with dark-red lips that nearly turned black. His eyes were tightly shut and laid lifelessly on the bed.
“Sister Qin, Fang Zhidong is… is dead,” a man dressed in short kungfu suits stood beside the bed with a terrified and panicked look on his face.
“Dead?” Qin Shuanglian blurted out. She hurried towards the bed and tossed about for a while, checking pulses after listening to the heartbeat, before confirming the death of her teammate.
The girl dressed in crimson stood petrified with a dull look in her eyes. Right before she went out, Fang Zhidong was just unconscious. Yet only a short period of time has passed and now he is already dead?
Shi Tiangao looked at them and took a deep breath, “Hanqiu, Huashan, what happened?”
Zhu Hanqiu, dressed in short kungfu suits, stood with a bewildered look in his eyes, “A few moments ago, I was meditating to understand the swordsmanship secrets I found last time. Huashan was practicing technique of concealed weapons with chess pieces and Zhidong was sitting silently in meditation to regulate his breath… Everything was alright with nothing abnormal, but just now he suddenly screamed and rolled off the bed. Then he lost consciousness with his teeth grit and eyes tightly shut while his pulse and heartbeat weakened continuously.”
Zhu Huashan, the girl dressed in crimson, stood beside the table scattered with black and white chess pieces that had not been retrieved which revealed the urgent mind state of the owner and added, “We were afraid that Zhidong was possessed by the devil, so brother Hanqiu protected his heart arteries and veins by an inner force while we fed him an elixir. However, none of these worked. I came out in a hurry to seek for help from you or the powerhouse of the Taoist Master’s mansion. But as you see it, I have only left the room for a while before I returned and Zhidong is… is…”
She was in tears as she spoke. After so many times they shared life and death, no matter how inevitable the contradiction and intrigue occurred between them, their relationships were much more than just ordinary friends. How could they not mourn now that Fang Zhidong suddenly died a doubtful violent death? What’s more, with the reason of Fang Zhidong’s death unclear, others may also be influenced. Even a fox would feel sorry for a rabbit’s death, let alone their teammates.
Zhu Hanqiu added, “As soon as Huashan went out, Zhidong was completely at the point of death. No matter how much inner force I pour into him, the ceasing of his heartbeat was unstoppable.”
He did not show such obvious sadness as his heart was still fluttering with fear.
Qin Shuanglian checked the body of Fang Zhidong and made sure there was no obvious trauma or poisoned and meridians burst signs of being possessed by the devil. She thought for a while and then ripped off Fang Zhidong’s clothes in order to look for less obvious wounds.
There was no pinhole or blood accumulation on vital parts like the skull, sternum,dantian, heart or external genitalia. Fang Zhidong was still like a living person with distinct skin texture and firm muscles.
“What if he died of sudden acute disease?” Shi Tiangao guessed.
Qin Shuanglian agreed with this idea, but she could not reach a conclusion at this moment. Thus she turned Fang Zhidong’s body over to check his back.
The body was turned over and the back was revealed. Qin Shuanglian’s pupils shrank immediately. Shi Tiangao and Zhu Hanqiu gasped and could not help stepping back while Zhu Huashan pressed both hands to her mouth to suppress a scream.
On Fang Zhidong’s fair skinned but strong back, there was a ferocious, scarlet character, “Kill” that gave others a bloody feeling.
When they looked carefully, they found the “Kill” seemed to be permeated into the skin texture as if borne on to this body. The monstrous and bloody sight was full of the feeling of death.
For a moment, the room fell silent without even the sound of breathing.
“Since when did he bear this “Kill” on his back?” Shi Tiangao was the one to break the unutterable silence.
During the last mission, he and Fang Zhidong, together with Zhu Qiuhan and the others had bathed in a lake and they had not seen this.
Zhu Qiuhan shook his head at a loss to show that he did not know about this either.
Shi Tiangao exchanged a look with Qin Shuanglian. Both of them remembered a guess they made before — Changes occurred in the mission and the Taoist Master’s mansion getting involved was probably the result of someone randomly opening a branch line or giving rise to something carelessly. Judging from the things happening today, could that someone be Fang Zhidong? Could it be that he got backfired by these incidents?
“What a horrifying ‘Kill’ it is! Could it be the work of an evil spirit? After all, we have just come out of the ghost village…” Zhu Huashan made her guess.
Hearing this, Shi Tiangao’s face immediately changed color. He grabbed the clothes on his back and ripped it open with a rush.
His bronze skinned back revealed with the sound of ripping. On it was a light red character of “Kill”!
“There it is!” Zhu Hanqiu cried.
Both Qin Shuanglian and Zhu Huashan’s expression changed, they at once hurried into the wing-room to check each other’s backs.
Zhu Hanqiu took off his garment and raised his underclothes with a pale face to let Shi Tiangao have a check.
“Brother Tian, is there a ‘Kill’?” Zhu Hanqiu asked in a quivered tone.
Shi Tiangao nodded heavily, “Yes, there is.”
A “Kill” in darker red was inlaid on Zhu Hanqiu’s back.
A few moments later, Qin Shuanglian and Zhu Huashan returned with pale faces. Apparently, they found the “Kill” on their backs as well.
The four people looked at each other. Panic filled the room.
“Let’s go to the Taoist Master!” Qin Shuanglian said with teeth grit.
This mysterious and strange situation was more than they could handle. They could do nothing except to seek help from the Taoist Master’s mansion!
After hearing Meng Qi’s suggestion, the Taoist Master was silent for a moment before saying, “Foolish Monk and I have been friends for many years. I fully trust in his moral character and behaviors. There is no need to verify.”
The Foolish Monk was a benevolent person who often defuses conflicts in JiangHu. He never took sides or lied and was a truly eminent monk with great virtue who was trustworthy.
What’s more, the Primordial Spirit at this phase was as vulnerable as a thin piece of paper in front of overmatches of the same phase. How could it be operated by the hands of others? The Taoist Master did not trust Meng Qi who was a Guru of the Sect of Ether.
Anyhow, the target they aimed to deal with was a thorn in the flesh to him. Then why not make use of this opportunity?
“That would make a deal.” Meng Qi clapped his hands and smiled, “We will scout for the status of the Female Monarch first.”
“If what you said was true, judging from my acquaintance of the Female Monarch, she would not ignore Taoist friends and pretend nothing had happened. Now she might have already summoned back all of her important healers, closed her doors, activated Restrictive Spell and waited in complete defense. With the help of the Witch of the Black Mountain, we three are not likely able to break their defense and could only be stalemated. Then as soon as they fix their special device, they would launch a counterattack on us,” the Taoist Master analyzed a most possible result.
As soon as he stopped speaking, he saw the Guru of the Sect of Ether dressed in green shirts smiled confidently, “The scout is aimed at looking for clues of the mysterious fragment.”
“The Female Monarch is a tough person. She would surely not entrust her life to others’ ideas. Now that she knew she could operate the mysterious fragment to use a special device to change rules and reverse time, she would surely go after this. With the mysterious fragments missing, we can only try to look for clues at her place now.”
The Taoist Master sighed, “You really have an accurate grasp of the characteristics of the Female Monarch.”
It was very hard to analyze one’s heart and Meng Qi had already made a good job by this speculation.
The three of them finished their discussion and immediately left the Taoist Master’s mansion to fly towards the north.
The towering castle stood on the side of a broad river. Now the castle was shrouded by mist with a hazy, hidden feeling of danger. It was hard to see the true image inside.
The Taoist Master floated in mid-air and gazed at the castle down below. Now he believed what Meng Qi and the Foolish Monk said even more.
The Female Monarch really had summoned back her healers and activated a Restrictive Spell!
She was waiting for the repairing of the special device!
The Foolish Monk opened his eyes. His golden crystal eyes were like the eyes of a dragon that ignored the mist and reflected all the tiny details in this castle.
The Heavenly Eye!
Sure enough, the castle was more crowded than before on the return of many overmatches that guarded different places. The guess of three gurus and the truth of the situation were verified.
In the gorgeous and dignified palace, the Female Monarch sat on her throne in a dark robe with a phoenix held high. Opposite her stood the Witch of the Black Mountain who was covered in a black robe with only two cold, scarlet eyes visible.
Sensing the gaze from the Foolish Monk, the Witch of the Black Mountain turned back with a rush and let out a bloody beam from her eyes.
At once, the Foolish Monk’s golden crystal eyes turned muddy and could no longer see what was inside the palace.
“They did join hands,” the Taoist Master looked at Meng Qi. Now he did not doubt a word Meng Qi had said, “With the doors closed right now, how are we going to look for clues?”
Meng Qi stood in mid-air with his legs stretched apart and his hands behind his back. He smiled,
“Everything that exists must leave traces.”
His eyes suddenly turned pitch black like the deepest part of the starry sky. There sat a Taoist priest unable to be described by words. The bright initial thread of stars came from him and continuously split and derived into the mysterious starry sky.
All deeds had causes and effects!
Meng Qi looked into the castle and saw numerous threads of causes and effects thickly winding together into a nebula. It was impossible to tell which was which, which belonged to which and which led to which.
Meng Qi was not surprised at this at all. He gazed into the void to look for the threads of causes and effects that spread out of this world.
On the dim edge, Meng Qi faintly saw a few threads of stars in deep void that connected to some unknown places.
“Ok. I found some clues,” Meng Qi withdrew his vision and his eyes turned back to normal. Yet the Foolish Monk and the Taoist Master were still shocked by the mysterious soul-stirring feeling he gave off just now.
“You found clues?” emotions flashed across the Taoist Master’s heart while he spoke to Meng Qi in a calm voice.
He found clues just by doing this?
Meng Qi wore a smile on his face, “Sure.”
Though he could not recognize the specific situation, thus couldn’t operate the threads. However, he had remembered the features and senses of these threads.
The clues to the mysterious fragment were surely hidden among them. When the time comes, they can become the basis to deduct with the Jade Spirit Calculation. Then they would be able to combine with the result of investigation of government and sort out several dubious places to exclude.
With clues at hand, the three gurus quickly retreated as they could not break the Restrictive Spell of the Female Monarch or the Witch of the Black Mountain for the moment.
The Female Monarch rose from her throne and looked up at the sky with her hands hung down,
“They will not give up this easily.”
“It does not matter. In a few days, the special device would be rebuilt. Plus, I have found clues of the Seven-Kill Tablet,” the voice of the Witch of the Black Mountain was low and magnetic that was completely different from how she looked.
“You found clues of the Seven-Kill Tablet?” the Female Monarch put her vision back on the Witch of the Black Mountain.
The Witch of the Black Mountain chuckled, “That is right. Ever since I was sure that the Seven-Kill Tablet fell into our world, I have been looking for it with every means. Although the virtual-reality game could not change reality, the many choices made by a great number of players led to many different changes. The numerous uncertain futures allowed me to rule out many speculations. It was much easier when the range shrank.”
“What on earth is this Seven-Kill Tablet?” the Female Monarch asked in a low voice.
The Witch of the Black Mountain answered in a slightly insane manner, “It used to be the thing the Celestial Ruler used to reach the essence of Taoism. It helped him break through the limits of natural gods. But it was nearly broken into pieces as the Heavenly Court fell and then dropped into the Nine Levels of Underground. After that, an evil god got it and refined it into the Seven-Kill Tablet. It is said that it can put time in disorder, seek previous life, murder people invisibly and has many other uses. However, once it is used, it must take ten years to recover. If I can get it, I must first use it to kill Liang Wuji!”
Liang Wuji is the name of Guru of the Sect of Ether.
The Female Monarch looked in his face and said flatly, “I care not how you get this Seven-Kill Tablet. All in all, the fragment is mine.”
“Yes, of course,” the Witch of the Black Mountain turned and left.
The Female Monarch narrowed her eyes as she watched her leave. She knew he had kept some crucial parts as secrets and her words could not be fully trusted.
Back at the Taoist Master’s mansion, Meng Qi found a quiet room and prepared to go to Nang Gongchang’s place. He wanted to find the mysterious fragment as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, the Taoist Master met again with Qin Shuanglian and the others and knew about the mysterious “Kill” characters. He sent a guru to accompany them on a second visit to the ghost village.